quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
[QUOTE]
I would just like to interject that, in the defense of exclusivity, what we call 'the word of God' can't be shared amongst religions. We focus way to much attention on comparing the similarities instead of contrasting the inconsistencies and contradictions. The contrast I like to use is, Jesus says 'turn the other cheek', Mohammad says 'strike them back harder than they struck you', Buddha says 'no worries, kharma, they'll get theirs'. The differences in how these sages approached dealing with our trangressors speaks magnitudes.


I can't address the statement about Mohammed. But I can say, based on my extensive studies of Buddhism, that "no worries, karma they'll get theirs" is NOT a quote from any Buddhist text I'm aware of. Not only that, but it's a gross misrepresentation of Buddhist thought. Many Buddhist texts and traditions repeatedly show Buddhist saints quite literally sacrificing themselves for the sake of all living creatures - including their enemies.

As an example you can read the article below:

http://www.exoticindia.com/article/kuanyin

where you'll find, among other things,

"It is unfortunate that Buddhism's most enduring (and universal) contribution to the world has been insufficiently translated as compassion. The original Sanskrit word is 'karuna,' which holds within itself traces of the fragment 'ru,' meaning to weep. While the Oxford dictionary describes compassion as pity bordering on the merciful, karuna is actually our ability to relate to another in so intense a measure that the plight of the other affects us as much as if it had been our own."

I'm REALLY glad to see this discussion happening . Just thought I'd try to contribute.

If we honestly want to answer the question that started this thread, I'd like to encourage people to really explore other religious texts. I mean seriously. Personally I've found more that speaks to me in the Lotus Sutra (Buddhism) and in the Bhagavad Gita (Hinduism) than I ever got from the Bible.

That statement is personal. I don't expect everyone to agree with me. But you can't honestly engage this issue without actually knowing something outside the Christian tradition.

Lastly, didn't Martin Luther King Jr. get the idea of nonviolent resistance from Gandhi who was a Hindu and a devoted student of the Gita??????
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quote:
"no worries, karma they'll get theirs"


why would you even suggest that this is supposed to be a direct quote?

ok... I've researched and...

Here is a direct quote

'Don't, my dear Dighavu, be far-sighted. Don't be near-sighted. For vengeance is not settled through vengeance. Vengeance is settled through non-vengeance'

This is STILL very different from the teachings of Jesus and Mohammad. Which was the point I was trying to make. I apologize to you if you feel like I was bashing buddhism.
In the story I read, I saw no sacrifice that you mentioned, I saw no turning of the other cheek, Prince Dighavu had an opportunity to slay the king that slain his parents, and he did not take the eye for an eye route. Three different religions give you three different routes for one eternal issue; Vengeance.
I wasn't offended at all. I'm sorry if you thought that. I was just trying to contibute to the discussion. I'll add that, as with the Bible, you can quote many stories to make many different points. You can EVEN quote Bible stories that aren't based on "turn the other cheek." So, of course, you should be able to find Buddhist stories that do the same.

I'll repeat:

quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
As an example you can read the article below:

http://www.exoticindia.com/article/kuanyin

where you'll find, among other things,

"It is unfortunate that Buddhism's most enduring (and universal) contribution to the world has been insufficiently translated as compassion. The original Sanskrit word is 'karuna,' which holds within itself traces of the fragment 'ru,' meaning to weep. While the Oxford dictionary describes compassion as pity bordering on the merciful, karuna is actually our ability to relate to another in so intense a measure that the plight of the other affects us as much as if it had been our own."

If we HONESTLY want to answer the question that started this thread, I'd like to encourage people to really explore other religious texts. I mean seriously. Personally I've found more that speaks to me of the Divine in the Lotus Sutra (Buddhism) and in the Bhagavad Gita (Hinduism) than I ever got from the Bible.

That statement is personal. I don't expect everyone to agree with me. But you can't honestly engage this issue without actually knowing something outside the Christian tradition. I mean REALLY knowing something.

Lastly, didn't Martin Luther King Jr. get the idea of nonviolent resistance from Gandhi who was a Hindu and a devoted student of the Gita??????


Can one really do adequate "research" by quoting one line from a single story from a religious tradition which is thousands of years old and has hundreds of texts in several languages???
quote:
Therefore, to approach Black Christians and say to them, "Ok ya'll, slavery is over, time to wake up, come out of it, snap, snap!!!" and expect for them to denounce their faith and beliefs as a result of hearing your announcement is unrealistic.
ROWE, what makes you think KRESEGE out of all people would be saying something to that effect?

quote:
Presently, we are seeing a growing number of Christian critics, but many of them are not providing any acceptable alternatives to a traditional Christian lifestyle.
ROWE, seriously, what part of the question(s) here have suggested that Christians abandon Christianity? KRESGE is a Christian so exactly what motive would he have to turn other Christians (those, unfortunately far less knowledgeable and studied as he is especially given KRESGE's profession) away from Christianity??

It's really an unfounded leap in logic - your idea that the questions and criticisms here suggest Christians leave Christianity. No doubt it's the same leap our Christian brothers (and sisters) here have made but that can be seen, at least partially, as a product of being put on the spot and, perhaps, the natural defensiveness these questions seem to garner.

quote:
I think as more and more Black people raise their awareness and become more interested in world cultures and international affairs, we will become a lot less narrow-minded and isolated in our thinking and focus.
See? You say that but you make the misguided assumption that the point here (of the questions and motive of the questioners) was to suggest that Christians abandon Christianity when the questions were all about Christians being "less narrow-minded."

KRESGE asked, in part:
quote:
If you believe that the Bible is the Word of God, what is the logic behind your assertion. Why do you believe this? Why should other people believe this.
MBM expanded on that question and asked:For those who believe that the Bible is the word of God - do you believe that God's word is also represented in other traditonal holy texts?

None of that says to a Christian "give up your religion." It does, however, ask Christians to consider the place and claims of other world cultures, religions and faiths. Nothing more, nothing less. So no alternative is warranted save, perhaps, an alternative way of God, "The Lord Of All The Worlds," and coming up with Christian, Bible or God-centered answers to such questions.

I mean, if Divine Joy's proclamation has any value (i.e. "The Bible contains the answer for anything we encounter in life") then there should be a responsible and earnest Biblical, Christian or God-fearing, God-respecting, God-reflecting answer to those questions.

Now, I don't know how someone can fathom a God to be all that people, Christians, say God is and come away with such "narrow-minded" ideas about God (and even the Bible) and how God has related to the whole world.

Now it's one thing to want to claim something "special" but its another to cling to an anti-God like exceptionalism that doesn't even consider God beyond their own personal Christian boxes.

And, if there is anything criticized, it's that exceptionalism. That uninformed and unexamined exceptionalism; hence, the interest in the
Bible-centered declaration "God said it, I believe it, that settles it."

I should correct that. "God said it" can only be said of the Bible, apparently. The definition of narrow-minded and the complete lack of consideration-reflection on either God or other people-cultures.

You know, no explanation needed the BIBLE (alone) = The Word of God. Apparently, God only speaks in one language and could only speak to one people. But of course, as ironic as it sounds, that Chrisitan "God" is unlimited.
quote:
I would just like to interject that, in the defense of exclusivity, what we call 'the word of God' can't be shared amongst religions. We focus way to much attention on comparing the similarities instead of contrasting the inconsistencies and contradictions. The contrast I like to use is, Jesus says 'turn the other cheek', Mohammad says 'strike them back harder than they struck you', Buddha says 'no worries, kharma, they'll get theirs'. The differences in how these sages approached dealing with our trangressors speaks magnitudes.
HERU, you can't try to claim "EXCLUSIVITY" and suggest that "magnitudes" of differences (not-specified) are spoken and maintain the idea that you're not intentionally "bashing" Buddhism, etc. You may not want to call it "bashing" but when it comes to you trying to establish "exclusivity" we know you're not trying to pay the highest or equal compliments to religions/traditions other than Christianity.

And it is rather ironic... the point HONEST-Brother made. The idea that MLK endorsed and found a practical, living example of "Turn The Other Cheek" non-violence in a tradition not called Christianity... (Ghandi's Hinduism) Hmmmm..... Speaks volumes.

You were trying to invoke MLK earlier? Weren't you HERU? Hmmm.... Now why would MLK ever even have to consult Ghandi if there was such a rich tradition of "Turn The Other Cheek" in Christianity?

I mean, he should have been able to draw on the examples of Christians right here in America. So tell us, which group of Christians in America, if even in American History before him, would MLK been able to draw a practical philosophy of "Non-violent passive resistance" for the Civil Rights Movement???

The point is, HERU, you have been dishonest throughout. Again, you were not complimenting Islam or Buddhism. In order for you to claim "exclusivity", you were obviously trying to claim the superiority of the Christian concept of "Turn The Other Cheek." Now, mind you, you never bothered to explain why that was or should be considered "better", superior or most instructive or more principled. You just suggested it should be, simply because it's "different."

Hmmm... And on that "VENGEANCE" thing? Doesn't the Bible teach that whatever a person sows, a person will reap? How does that make the Buddhist idea, as you quoted it, less instructive or principled? Inferior? You know, when Karma parallels the Biblical principle of Sowing & Reaping?

C'mon HERU... You really do have approach these situations with less bias and actually say something that isn't readily contradicted and exposed. If it were not so, if you were not so hopelessly biased - i.e. purposely, selectively stating things for the purposes of claiming advantage - then you would have to be dishonest about "bashing" Buddhism, etc. Again, you know you were not paying any compliments so why all the weaseling?

Now, it's pretty interesting to note how you were a party to my comparative:
quote:
To me, it's like language. Every word, every concept, every principle doesn't exactly translate from one language to the other. Each language, each culture, each religion... like languages speak to the Universally Observed/Experienced from various perspectives. Some more similar than others. Some representing very different interpretations and, hence, insights.

So, it would not be wise to readily assume that even those Universal Principles are perceived in exactly the same way. For example, the Universal Principle we can extract from both Christianity and Islam, literally, can lend to very different actions.

In Christianity the Principle (I see as Universal) says:
LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF or Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You.

In Islam the Principle (I see as Universal) says:
WANT FOR YOUR BROTHER WHAT YOU WANT FOR YOURSELF.

It doesn't take much to see how the Islamic principle, literally, may require more of an active process. A serious commitment to equality, perhaps...

http://africanamerica.org/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/96970854/m/7561064462/p/6
You will note hwo I concluded that comparative with this statement of equality or equal validity (of all/most religions):
It would seem that, perhaps, across the whole spectrum of cultures/religions in the Human Family that individual cultures hold different pieces to the same Principle Puzzle.
You will also note MELESI's observations questioning my comparative. But you will also note how I displayed your willingness to contradict yourself, your desire to LIE about what you believe. Funny how your very own "AMEN!" to my statement (below) both then and now betrays what you really want to claim but can't maintain: Christian Exclusivity/Superiority/Exceptionalism.

God is bigger than any one Religion.
The idea of there being ONE WAY when God made the Human Family as diverse as he has with so many cultures is simply ridiculous.
quote:


I SAY AMEN!!!

I wish many of our Black Christians and Black Muslims could get this idea through their heads. Black Christians seem to have drunk the European kool-aid on religious exclusivism. They claim their God is infinite, then claim he has an opposer (Satan) and claim this entity is responsible for all other religions. They claim their supposedly infinite God can only manifest through one finite religion and one finite book.

Cognitive dissonance or what?

And alot of our Black Muslims brothers and sister are becoming similar. They claim their God Allah is One, but claim Allah can only manifest through the Qu'ran and through Islamic laws and beliefs. They make Allah seem to be in competition with other gods, yet claim "he" is One.

Cognitive dissonance?


For a supposedly infinite God, the God-concept of the three Abrahamic religions often seems to come off being very finite and very human in limitation and behavior.
quote:
For a supposedly infinite God, the God-concept of the three Abrahamic religions often seems to come off being very finite and very human in limitation and behavior.
And that is indeed that point that ROWE missed or rather confused as an attempt suggest that Christians abandon their religion.

To the contrary... Things said here have, at the most, simply asked for an inspection of that GOD CONCEPT. If God is INFINITE (and I believe we all agree on that) then that means something. It is hard to believe, though, that such an INFINITE GOD would be as Finite as "believers" seem to make him. It's amazing how self-absorbed the ideas are...
quote:
It is hard to believe


Why is it hard to believe? The INFINTE God also seems to have, in His design, rules and laws that govern it. Why not one set of rules or way a person should seek to develop into the spiritual being He desires?

I mean...there are those that say it's hard to belive in ANY God concept. So because some may not accept, or like that notion of a single way, it's not a possibility?
quote:
None of that says to a Christian "give up your religion." It does, however, ask Christians to consider the place and claims of other world cultures, religions and faiths.


I make this argument because I grew up in the church, and I, like many other African Americans was exposed to the doctrine and messages being taught there. The Bible and the Christian church is very clear about its position on giving credit to other Gods and religions. Christians are taught, very explicitly, that no other religion, God, or scriptural text contains the word of God (or "The Truth"), besides the Bible. And anyone who does not honor the Christian God (the only living "True" God) is going straight to hell. Period. Now, as a former Christian, I heard this come out of the mouth of my pastor, directly. So let's not bs around with this. It is simply not possible for a Christian to say that he is totally committed to the word of God and no other Gods come before His God, and then turn right around and say, "But other religions and Gods are equal to my own." That would make that individual a hypocrite. Either you believe that the Bible is the living word of God, or you don't.

Personally, I don't think the question is relevant, because I am convinced that the Bible is merely a compilation of myths and legends that have been passed through generations, and it is. Therefore, whether one think that it holds "The Truth" on any given subject is relative. I appreciate the wisdom that it contains in the same way that I would appreciate wisdom found in any text, but does it contain an accurate account of history and can it be relied upon as a history book, certainly not. And I don't think that it was ever intended to be used as a historical text.
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Rowe,

Could I ask you to not be quite so sweeping and general in your statements, please?

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Christians are taught, very explicitly, that no other religion, God, or scriptural text contains the word of God or "The Truth"
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++=

While that is true of many Christians, it is not true of us all. I am a Christian and I have written here, on this thread, that there is truth to be found in other philosphies and religions. Now, I do go on to say that there is not found salvation in any other religion, but what God does with the people in any other religion is up to Him. C>S> Lewis, in "the Last Battle, has a young Tarkhan prince who winds up in the new Narnia ("heaven" in those books) even though he is surprised to be there. "But I did not worship you," he in effect says to Aslan. "But your worhship was out of a good heart, so I accepted it as worship to me," replied the Lion.

While there are Christians who are more theological than they should be (theological rather than Biblical is what I mean here), not all of us are. I do not consign anyone to hell for not being a Christian. That's between them and God. But by the same token, none of us should take this most likley manifestation of the grace and love of God as an excuse for not being Christian. If we do, that "good heart" is not in us, and we just might be bound for an eternity that we would not choose.

My greater concern, however, is that we would not have the life here that we should and can have, if we are nto Christian. Eternity God will take care of. We have some power in shaping our own presents, though, and I would like us to have a present as full of peace and truth and love as possible. There's no place in our lives that has that as does a life in the Author of peace and love and truth, who sent his son to die for us, so great is his love.
quote:
Originally posted by Melesi:
While that is true of many Christians, it is not true of us all. I do not consign anyone to hell for not being a Christian.


But the few (very few) does not represent the many. Therefore, when I speak about Christians in general terms, I talk about them as a collective group. And traditionally, religious intolerance is and has been a major part of being a Christian.
quote:
The Bible and the Christian church is very clear about its position on giving credit to other Gods and religions.
quote:
And anyone who does not honor the Christian God (the only living "True" God) is going straight to hell. Period.
ROWE, first of all, I, for one, have also had my own personal Christian experience as I believe most of us have had or have...

With that out of the way, again, you are faced with the fact that the questioner, KRESGE, is a Christian himself. So, while it may be true that a lot of Black Christians and Christians are generally taught in the way you specified, there are also "alternative" and still Christian views... as MELESI has, also, accounted for.

quote:
When I speak about Christians in general terms, I talk about them as a collective group. And traditionally, religious intolerance is and has been a major part of being a Christian.
Be that as it may, you have still failed to reconcile your idea that an Alternative Religion has to accompany questioning along these lines. Kresge and Melesi are living proof that there is an internal Christian Alternative. So, there is obviously something that's more Doctrinal than the core essence of the religion that's at issue. That might be debateable but what's not in dispute is the presence of religious tolerance among some Christians of which I'm sure some sizeable denominations or organizations are included.

And I just basically counter your Religion Alternative idea with saying that the only Alternative necessary is a different God-Concept - one that can be extracted right from the Bible and Christian teachings.

So the issue is not what is taught... It is all about what is THOUGHT. Now, when a Christian juxtaposes things they believe and/or have been taught up against a God-Concept that is not contradictory, etc. then we can talk about "alternative" views. That is to say, if and when a Christian or any religious person of any faith proclaims God, their God to be X, Y and/or Z then they themselves should hold themselves, their beliefs accountable to that conception of God. That God-Concept must be consistent with what/whom the profess [their] God to be.

quote:
Personally, I don't think the question is relevant, because I am convinced that the Bible is merely a compilation of myths and legends that have been passed through generations, and it is.
Well, being frank, this is not about you... personally. You made your input under a false assumption. Again, Kresge is Christian; devout (I presume) and well studied, as is his trade-profession.

For those of us who are not Christians posing questions here, while we my share your personal beliefs about the relevance of the Bible, etc., I think we respect people's beliefs, Christian or otherwise (their choice of religions), and don't fault them individually for even teachings or strains in their religion/doctrine that we find problematic. That's all that more reason why to engage topics like this.

quote:
Either you believe that the Bible is the living word of God, or you don't.
Now, exactly how is that relevant, again? Kresge simply asked for Christians to explain their beliefs. Again, he, too, is a Christian. So this stuff about abandoning or denouncing Christianity or the Bible is beside the point. Perhaps that's all just a function of your personal beliefs about Christianity and the Bible. But your beliefs and the way things work in your mind, the conclusions you draw or the decisions you've made about the relevance of the Bible/Christianity in your life are not the ideas shared amongst those of us who have no ulterior motive involved in our questioning other than, at the most, an Alternative View that doesn't curiously contradict some very "Christian" principles. Melesi spoke to one when he said, "I do not consign anyone to hell for not being a Christian."

So, again, it's not about denouncing Christianity. The biggest part of it is getting past this type of stuff:
  • "God said it, I believe it, that settles it."

  • The Holy Bible is God's Word. Nothing is left out, and nothing needs to be added.

    ... Well, after reviewing all that, I think I've come up with the absolute Central Question here: Big Grin

    "What does it take away from your beliefs to believe or acknowledge that the beliefs of others... even their beliefs in their own "holy" scriptures... are as valid for them as yours are for you?"

    Perhaps you can explain how that works in the Christianity you knew/know, ROWE. I know from things I were taught (a lot of which were no different from what you were taught), I also picked up on other principles that don't follow that "doctrine" per se. One of those things is the concept of The Measure Of Faith which I have discussed here before in an 2003 thread where I listed some of those "tolerant" Christian views.
  • quote:
    And anyone who does not honor the Christian God (the only living "True" God) is going straight to hell.


    This of course means all of the Indians that died in North and South America between 33 and 1492 went to hell because they never heard of the Chriatian God.

    The word HELL is not in the Bible. It actuall contains SHEOL, HADES and GEHENNA. These have been translated as HELL. This fire and brimstone business sounds like it comes from people who lived near volcanos. There are volcanos in Italy whaere the Romans came from. Where are they in the middle east whaere the Jews were. Cruden's Concordance says SHEOL means "dwelling place of spirits" or "abode of the dead" not a place of punishment.

    http://www.dpjs.co.uk/hell.html

    http://biblia.com/jesusbible/job6c2.htm

    How many Christian children were taught this while they were growing up. I spent 13 years in Catholic schools, they never told me about SHEOL.

    umbrarchist
    quote:
    Originally posted by umbrarchist:
    quote:
    And anyone who does not honor the Christian God (the only living "True" God) is going straight to hell.


    This of course means all of the Indians that died in North and South America between 33 and 1492 went to hell because they never heard of the Chriatian God.
    umbrarchist


    I'm afraid it gets even worse. This also means that millions of black African ancestors - who had never heard of Jesus before they saw a white slaver - they're in hell too.

    What really gets me about the ferocity of much of black Christianity is that, whether you admit it or not, if you insist on being exclusive, you're stuck with the idea that we were better off as slaves - because that's how we came to know Jesus!!!

    Even today, you hear a lot of these preachers talking about "obedience" as the end all. Now who in their right minds is going to tell the descendants of slaves that they just need to be obedient???

    Of course, personally, I don't think they're in their right minds. Sorry but it makes no sense whatsoever to me. But who am I?
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    quote:
    What really gets me about the ferocity of much of black Christianity is that, whether you admit it or not, if you insist on being exclusive, you're stuck with the idea that we were better off as slaves - because that's how we came to know Jesus!!!
    quote:
    What does it take away from your beliefs to believe or acknowledge that the beliefs of others... even their beliefs in their own "holy" scriptures... are as valid for them as yours are for you? Perhaps you can explain how that works in the Christianity you knew/know, ROWE.


    Sure, for one thing. It doesn't matter how you word the question, the problem remains the same: Christians wanting AND NEEDING to exert power over other religions and cultures. If this were not true, then we would not be having this discussion in the first place. Moreover, the arguments that you have presented thus far demonstrate a limited understanding of the relationship between religion and power, particularly as it relates to Christianity. In order for Christianity (America's [the oppressor's headquarters] dominant religion) to exert AND maintain its influence, power, and dominance both nationally and globally over other religious groups, they must have a combative relationship with other religions. More importantly, they MUST view other religious groups/cultures as inferior to their own. Though Christians like Melesi may TELL YOU that they are accepting of other religions and the people belonging to those religions, you must be extremely cautious in your dealings with that type of Christian, because usually their true thoughts and intentions are dramatically different. You only need to let them run their mouth for the truth to be heard. This is why I rarely listen to the nonsense that is spoken by "Progressive Christians." They may talk about "brotherly love" out in public, but behind closed doors, they are consipring and strategizing on how they can spread "God's Word" all over the world.

    Like the wayward racist, these are the very people who will cleverly find ways to interfere and exert their influence, over time. And Melesi is not all that "progressive" in the first place. We have had exhausting debates before. He's also had heated debates with another sister, Oshun. Don't believe a word he types. He is a hardcore Christian. Some of the narrow-minded arguments that he has made in the past would blow your mind. Examine some of the responses that he has made just in this thread alone. I don't choose to argue against them anymore because I am sick of it. These people will always be in existence, people who think that it is their responsibility to give the world a religion and their beliefs should take precedence. So let it be.

    "What I privately think will indeed have public consequences, and so while the consequences are directly open to judgment--for they do affect others--the thoughts are, too, for they are the father to the act." -Melesi


    As for Brother Kresege, the last time I read him announcing his religion, it was not Christian, perhaps because he at least acknowledges that Christianity has never just been about "loving thy neighbor" and "believing in God." Unlike the majority of Blacks who attend Church just for a "good feeling," never questioning the history of Christianity or its relationship to America's power structure, given Kresege's educational background, I am sure that he realizes that there is a great deal more to Christianity than that.
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    quote:
    Originally posted by umbrarchist:
    This of course means all of the Indians that died in North and South America between 33 and 1492 went to hell because they never heard of the Chriatian God.The word HELL is not in the Bible. It actuall contains SHEOL, HADES and GEHENNA. These have been translated as HELL. This fire and brimstone business sounds like it comes from people who lived near volcanos. There are volcanos in Italy whaere the Romans came from.


    Now, finally, we get to the heart of this matter, which is the absurdity of this programmed thinking. And if more Black Christians were informed and were aware of their history, then they would know what you have just discussed. It was so mentally-nourishing to read that. Thank you for sharing.
    quote:
    I'm afraid it gets even worse. This also means that millions of black African ancestors - who had never heard of Jesus before they saw a white slaver - they're in hell too.

    What really gets me about the ferocity of much of black Christianity is that, whether you admit it or not, if you insist on being exclusive, you're stuck with the idea that we were better off as slaves - because that's how we came to know Jesus!!!


    I prefer to just mention the Indians because I try to keep the discussion objective. As soon as it gets personal and people get their emotions involved the conversation gets ridiculous. LOL

    umbra
    quote:
    Though Christians like Melesi may TELL YOU that they are accepting of other religions and the people belonging to those religions, you must be extremely cautious in your dealings with that type of Christian, because usually their true thoughts and intentions are dramatically different.
    ROWE, what does that have to do with your original comment about these questions here being motivated by or aimed towards having [Black] Christians "denounce their faith and beliefs"?

    And, FYI, I know how MELESI is. I, too, have had plenty of heated debates with MELESI, as has MBM, and we know him to be one of the most disingenuous personalities on this board period, Christian or otherwise. So please tell me something I don't know and stop assuming stuff you have no basis or reason to believe.

    The fact that I said MELESI articulated an Alternative Christian view does not mean that I think MELESI embodies such an Alternative. When you stop acting like you're the only informed/knowledgeable person and start actually dealing with what is being contended... the better.

    quote:
    Don't believe a word he types. He is a hardcore Christian. Some of the narrow-minded arguments that he has made in the past would blow your mind.
    You're assuming I don't know MELESI and how he is. You're also, assuming, without cause, that I haven't examined his responses here or elsewhere. Again, stop acting like you're the only informed/knowledgeable person here and actually start addressing things in contention instead of drifting off on tangents because of things or peoplr who got you bent.

    quote:
    These people will always be in existence, people who think that it is their responsibility to give the world a religion and their beliefs should take precedence. So let it be.
    And what is that all about? What?? You think the questioners here, myself included, are ignorant of the strain in Christianity that makes the MELESI's of the world feel like it is their responsibility to give the world a religion and their beliefs should take precedence of [all] others because of feelings of superiority, etc. that have been articulated as some "saving grace" favor to those of "inferior" beliefs?

    ROWE, again, stop assuming you're [one of] the only knowledgeable people on this subject with the ability to analyze the statements of "hardcore Christians."

    quote:
    As for Brother Kresege, the last time I read him announcing his religion, it was not Christian, perhaps because he at least acknowledges that Christianity has never just been about "loving thy neighbor" and "believing in God."
    ROWE, a little integrity on your part would be nice...

    On one of the very questions OSHUN AUSET posed (below) KRESGE, as recently as Dec. 6, 2005, was clear enough in indicating that he was in fact Christian. And I've already noted how well studied he is... again, as is his trade-profession.

    quote:
    quote:
    "I would like all those(especially X-tians) who are comfortable with Santa, X-mas trees, the Easter Bunny ect. to really analyze and comment on why they are comfortable with the inundation of pre-X-tian European symbols and practices..."
    I can't speak to the first part, cause I ain't that kind of Xian. Wink
    ROWE, FYI (if the last link I listed didn't clue you in)... I have a long history with MELESI and know exactly where he stands as a "hardcore" Christian. And I know, with all types of evidence from the Keep Them Talking method, what not to believe and take at face value when he says some thinly veiled "Brotherly Love" BS out his mouth.

    From my Oct. 2003 thread entitled CHRISTIANS how do you expect to get along in this world thinking like this?
    quote:
  • You do have a bit of a caricature in your description of Christians as those believing that we have a "bigger/better God" than the Muslims do. That's not quite right.

    We have a better religion, but our God is the same God. He's understood a bit differently, but that's not quite the same...

    I would say that there are reasons for believing that Christianity is a better religion than is Islam. But that's not to say that our God is "bigger/better than the Muslim's God. He's the same one, we only believe different things about him, but that's our fault, not his.

  • Do I think that other religions are lesser? Yes. But is that a problem? No. What becomes a problem is when I decide that my religion makes ME better in God's sight than they are. That's not what I believe. I believe that God loves everybody equally. He loves the Muslim as much as he does me. That does not mean that the Muslim does not have to change his mind about his religion if he wants the life that God has promised to those who obey him, but here on earth, God commands me to get along with him and show him the respect due a creation of God.
  • So I know who MELESI is, beyond any vain professions that betray something other than his "hardcore" Christian beliefs.
    rowe,

    Don't mind Nmaginate. He tends to slaver when he speaks of religon.

    You said,
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    But the few (very few) does not represent the many. Therefore, when I speak about Christians in general terms, I talk about them as a collective group. And traditionally, religious intolerance is and has been a major part of being a Christian.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Perhaps, though I'm not as sure about that as you seem to be. Mainline prtoestants, a very large group, generally do no say that. We do have to repeat Jesus' own words, which are quite exclusive, but there are many differences among us in this area. Yet you speak of Christians as if they are monolithic, which we are not.

    My plea to you is merely to be a little more careful and a little less sweeping and stereotyping when you speak of us.

    A comment on your possible motives, if I may:

    From what you say about "religious intolerance" (which really only amounts to what we tend to say and not what we do, for we are not guilty of consigning anyone to hell, only saying that some will go there. So your concern is only about what we say, right? How different is that from your comments being those of thought police?) you seem to believe that we have the right to have whatever religious philosophy we wish to have. What's the differnce between that and there being no God at all?
    quote:
    Don't mind Nmaginate. He tends to slaver when he speaks of religon.
    And, reflecting on those old threads, you tend to stutter, stammer and LIE. But who's counting (so to speak)...

    Funny how you have silly stuff to say when I've basically said the same thing you've tried to say: Christians are not monolithic.

    Funny how you interpret this as me "slavering" to the point where ROWE should pay no mind to what I say:
    quote:
    So, while it may be true that a lot of Black Christians and Christians are generally taught in the way you specified, there are also "alternative" and still Christian views... as MELESI has, also, accounted for.
    Done only as you can do, MELESI... Done so very well. Too bad it's the same ole pathetic and ineffectual you. But let's just say I salivate every time you *stutter*. Call it my feeding frenzy... And, as always, you're my lunch!

    Go ahead MELESI... say some of your patented, evasive BS (like you did then) when your little petty tactics profit you nothing:Mind telling me why you tried to personalize the issue with me (then) when you couldn't logically contend with the simply little question I asked you?

    Why were you pre-emptively trying so hard to prove ROWE right?

    quote:
    Answer me this...

    What happened to the people during and before Christ time that had not heard of Christ/Christianity? Were ALL of their "false religions" leading them to hell?
    MELESI = ek (*stutter*) (*stutter*) (*stutter*) ek

    And, yes!!! I'm still drooling over that! bump
    Last edited {1}
    quote:
    before Christ time that had not heard of Christ/Christianity? Were ALL of their "false religions


    Nmaginate is one of my favorite people here. He has zero patience for BS and he's not afraid to confront people (even me) when he thinks they're not being totally 100% forthright.

    His slamming of "Constructive Feedback" and "Cobb" often has me laughing myself to tears in front of my monitor. laugh
    I can actually empathize with most of what Rowe is saying. I myself used to be a Born-Again Christian and I experienced all of the torture and brainwash that he did.

    I'm only 19 years old, but I've been through alot in terms of religious experience. My parents were nominal Christian for many years and eventually became Born-Again Fundies about 3 years ago. I got heavily into Bible-study and I routinely posted on Christian forums and defended my belief system in real life and online.

    Over time, I grew to question my beliefs as I made more non-Christian friends and as I got deeper into Bible study. I started wondering why God would send my non-Christian friends to Hell simply for not being Christians. They were wonderful people and were more moral than many Christians I knew. I also started disagreeing with Bible teachers in my interpretation of the Bible. I even found Bible verses that spoke to be about God being bigger than any single religion or group of people.

    I read up on Liberal Christian Bible scholarship, and I read up on Christian mysticism. I eventually could no longer believe the narrow, dogmatic things I had been taught about God, Jesus and the Bible, and I could no longer believe my non-Christian friends were damned to Hell while corrupt and shady Christians were going to Heaven. I could no longer believe that God was a dictator sitting on a throne acting like a Cosmic Dictator.

    I studied other religions (especially their mystical traditions). I saw the wisdom in their holy books, and I saw the wisdom of other religious figures in history and other philosophers. Surely God could have not spoken only through Jesus when there are others just as magnificent as Jesus. I came to the conclusion that God is bigger than any religion, and all of our religions and philosophies are simply pieces of a puzzle to a Cosmic Whole. I came to believe that there is no "one way" to God as there is no "one way" to come to a correct answer in an equation. 2 + 2 = 4, do does 5 - 1 ,or 12 / 3, or 2 x 2 or 0 + 5. Saying "our way is the only way" is like saying only 2 + 2 can equal 4. In fact, I don't agree with mainstream Christianity and their interepretation of the Bible and Jesus, I agree with Liberal Christians and Christian esoterics and mystics much more.


    I can understand Rowe's anger at Christianity (I still have problems with holding grudges against Born-Againism and mainstream "orthodox" Christianity). But, I don't believe Christians should stop being Christians. I don't want anyone to abandon their religion, I want people to stop exclusivism and stop drinking the White Man's kool-aid of "our way is the only way".

    That element in Christianity is really a White invention. It doesn't exist as much in Eastern Christianity or in early original forms of Christianity. For instance, the Syrian Church believes in reincarnation, and Russian churches have biblical books that are considered "apocryphal" in Western churches.
    quote:
    Originally posted by Nmaginate:

    HERU, you can't try to claim "EXCLUSIVITY" and suggest that "magnitudes" of differences (not-specified) are spoken and maintain the idea that you're not intentionally "bashing" Buddhism, etc.


    Huh? Why not?

    quote:
    we know you're not trying to pay the highest or equal compliments to religions/traditions other than Christianity.


    Really?

    quote:
    Now why would MLK ever even have to consult Ghandi if there was such a rich tradition of "Turn The Other Cheek" in Christianity?


    You once made a distinction between the assertiveness of Muslim brotherly love, and the passiveness (your idea) of Christian brotherly love. Why here is it that you can't make a distinction between a passive non-violence Ghandi's Hinduism and an assertive non-violence 'turn the other cheek'? Also quote me a Hindu passage that bears any resemblance to Jesus' 'turn the other cheek'.

    quote:
    Again, you were not complimenting Islam or Buddhism


    So. I wasn't dissing them either Nmaginate.

    quote:
    would MLK been able to draw a practical philosophy of "Non-violent passive resistance" for the Civil Rights Movement???


    Now were comparing the people trying to live up to Christianity, to the Word of God. What?

    quote:
    Hmmm... And on that "VENGEANCE" thing? Doesn't the Bible teach that whatever a person sows, a person will reap?


    Again, taking concepts out of context. How do we jump from 'you reap what you sow' to 'turn the other cheek'? You reap what you sow is God describing the nature of what is to be expected based upon your actions and inactions, and in this instance it has less to do with our spiritual destiny than with our natural life. 'Turn the other cheek' is Jesus prescribing a course of assertive action that is based on sacrificial love, that places your spiritual destiny in your own hands.

    quote:
    You know, when Karma parallels the Biblical principle of Sowing & Reaping?


    ok. we've found a universal truth

    quote:
    C'mon HERU... You really do have approach these situations with less bias and actually say something that isn't readily contradicted and exposed. If it were not so, if you were not so hopelessly biased - i.e. purposely, selectively stating things for the purposes of claiming advantage - then you would have to be dishonest about "bashing" Buddhism, etc. Again, you know you were not paying any compliments so why all the weaseling?


    I'm not here to bash or praise other religions. Didn't know that was required.
    quote:
    You once made a distinction between the assertiveness of Muslim brotherly love, and the passiveness (your idea) of Christian brotherly love. Why here is it that you can't make a distinction between a passive non-violence Ghandi's Hinduism and an assertive non-violence 'turn the other cheek'?
    First, I never made such a distinction. Assertive and Passive are your terms and you've just made that stuff up. Even worse, it doesn't work.

    Again, MLK used, borrowed, "stole" Ghandi's idea of Non-Violence "Passive" Resistance that was anything but non-assertive. As proof that you're just making stuff up... Let's see if you can actually tell me what is assertive non-violence 'turn the other cheek'. How about providing some examples.

    And, no HERU. Your dictionary won't help you on this one. Simply playing on the word "passive" in Non-Violent Passive Resistance (MLK's term, more or less) and simply pulling the contrasting word "assertive" out of thin air and attaching it to 'turn the other cheek' as if it references anything in history or reality is not some new wave of BS that I'm bound to let slide. And to think EP just said "Nmag has zero patience for BS!!" What part of that don't you get?

    You referenced MLK. It backfired. It's a simple question:
    Now why would... WHY DID MLK ever even have to consult Ghandi if there was such a rich tradition of "Turn The Other Cheek" in Christianity?

    But go ahead, tell me what in the world assertive non-violence 'turn the other cheek' actually is, complete with examples of it much like MLK and Ghandi are examples of and people you can reference who have actually practiced and developed the philosophy of Non-Violent Passive Resistance.

    Note: What you was not an earnest response to my question, much less an actual answer. And, no. There is no contradiction or inconsistency in my actual ideas. And it's funny for you to say, "[Nmag], You once made a distinction..." when I listed the actual thing you're referencing right in the same post you call yourself responding to.

    quote:
    Now were comparing the people trying to live up to Christianity, to the Word of God. What?
    Unintelligible. Another non-response, non-answer. I asked you a simple straightforward question. Again, you invoked MLK. And you and I both know your question makes absolutely no sense. I asked you to provide some examples of Christians practicing "Turn The Other Cheek" whether they "live up" to it or not is hardly the issue. The issue is whether MLK could have drawn, as I said, from a history where "Turn The Other Cheek" was used as a practical philosophy.

    You wanted to claim "exclusivity" and defend Christian Exclusivity on those terms. Well, I sure hope you're not resting that solely on words printed in a book, even if that book is the Bible. I mean, we really would be only right in asking how come Ghandi's Hinduism compelled him as it did but the great, exclusive idea of "Turn The Other Cheek" hasn't compelled Christians, from their own tradition, to make such a statement and stand on things that matter guided by such an "exclusive" idea as "Turn The Other Cheek?"

    Again, people don't have to "live up to it." They just have to feel compelled/propelled by it as a philosophy, a practical philosophy, they feel is worth using, strategically or otherwise, in their lives. Funny how whether Ghandi "lived up" to the non-violent principles in his religion he felt compelled and motivated by the teachings enough to actually put it in to action. Now, that's quite ASSERTIVE. Your mush-mouth comments, your question about people "trying" (ummm... examples of that effort?) to live up to Christianity and, in essence, "falling short" are examples of NOT being "assertive."

    If there were such a strong and assertive tradition among Christians then it is my argument that MLK would not have had to borrow from Ghandi. At least not so heavily. He would have had plenty of examples, whether successes or failures from such a Christian tradition if one existed, particularly one applicable to socio-political arena where MLK sought to employ the philosophy.
    quote:
  • How do we jump from 'you reap what you sow' to 'turn the other cheek'?

  • (( Karma parallels Sowing & Reaping )) ok. we've found a universal truth
  • Now that's some comparing and contrasting for ya! bsm

    Now, you're the one who tried to bite my rhymes. You tried your little Exclusive Card hand at comparative religion and have basically had to fold. We've called your bluff.

    Now, what really seems to be your problem?
    You state that Karma and the Reap-Sow principle = universal. But you try to feign ignorance or assign some type of malice or ill-fated, ill-willed or questionable beliefs to KARMA in your pathetic attempt to assert Christian superiority/Exclusivity.

    Hmmmm... Now how does that work??
    KARMA = Reap-Sow idea. Reap-Sow idea is Biblical. It's alright but Karma isn't?? Karma isn't on par?

    Yes, HERU... How does that work?
    (And all that is granting you your laughable (mis)characterization.)

    But while we're talking about CONTRADICTIONS and things laughable:
    quote:
    I would just like to interject that, in the defense of exclusivity, what we call 'the word of God' can't be shared amongst religions. We focus way to much attention on comparing the similarities instead of contrasting the inconsistencies and contradictions. The contrast I like to use is, Jesus says 'turn the other cheek', Mohammad says 'strike them back harder than they struck you', Buddha says 'no worries, kharma, they'll get theirs'. The differences in how these sages approached dealing with our trangressors speaks magnitudes.
    Can you tell me how exactly different religions... DIFFERENT RELIGIONS can be termed as "contradicting" one another or "inconsistent" with one another when they are, by definition... DIFFERENT??

    Maybe you should use your dictionary on this one. The opposite of similar is DIFFERENT. What exactly is the surprise or issue when two or more DIFFERENT religions don't exactly say the same exact thing in the same exact way??

    And please don't make me laugh any more.

    "We focus way too much attention on comparing the similarities..."

    Ummm... Yeah. Roll Eyes
    Come back when you have a count for the times "WE" (whoever the hell you're talking about) have talked about things different religions share in common and contrast that with the times the differences in religions have been discussed.

    I mean... damn. You could at least be honest instead of making an outrageous comment like that just so you think you have a point.

    Smile HERU: Different Religions are Different.

    WOW!!!! Eek What a revelation!!
    quote:
    Originally posted by Empty Purnata:
    I can actually empathize with most of what Rowe is saying. I myself used to be a Born-Again Christian and I experienced all of the torture and brainwash that he did.


    I'm a woman Sister Empty Purnata.
    Q: Bible = The Word of God?

    A: No, Anything written down was written by man.
    There are many books that have been inspired by the God/Goddess within though.

    But I doubt the Helio Biblio(Sun Book) was one of them. Too much of it is a plagerization of the KMTic(Egyptian) papyrus of Ani.

    Now some of the God/Goddess inspired teachings from the Medu Neteru/Papyrus of Ani are still found with in it. But those teachings have largely been edited, poluted, removed, and/or perverted by the Indo European cultural context it has been plagerized and re-translated under for millenia.

    The only reason so many people fell that "The Bible is the word of God" is because Judeo-X-tian-Islamity are the religious cults that have the most political power globally, for the moment.
    quote:
    Originally posted by Nmaginate:
    {b]CHRISTIANS how do you expect to get along in this world thinking like this?[/b]


    Since when was 'getting along' X-tianity's or X-tians motive?
    Nmag,

    I love playing this game with you
    quote:
    HERU: Different Religions are Different.

    WOW!!!! What a revelation!!


    stuffing words down peoples mouth.

    O.k. I have a few words to shove down yours throat.

    Nmag:
    {'Turn the other Cheek'} the whole concept is UNPRACTICAL, no one is doing it blah, blah blah, therefore, since GOD himself is pragmatic and PRACTICAL, the BIBLE is NOT THE (practical, pragmatic) WORD OF GOD.
    Smile


    By the way I don't know if you noticed but kharma and 'turn the other cheek' are two different concepts.

    And if anyone stole any ideas, Christ preceded Ghandi, so that would make Ghandi more of a theif than MLK.

    And you want 'Turn the other cheek examples', you first! Give me some Ghandi((living) (since we're in 2005 not 1948)) examples, do we have another Buddha, or another Mohammad? Maybe I'm not as tuned in to current events as you are Smile

    quote:
    Yeah.
    Come back when you have a count for the times "WE" (whoever the hell you're talking about) have talked about things different religions share in common and contrast that with the times the differences in religions have been discussed.


    Roll Eyes Yeah, because no one on this board has ever made any vague comparisons between Christianity and Greek paganism, Ancient African religions, Buddhism, Sufism, Hinduism, Islam (just naming off stuff now, sooooo Razz)
    quote:
    Since when was 'getting along' X-tianity's or X-tians motive?
    Well, it's a rhetorical question and one meant to expose the motives or true nature of those Christian beliefs/practices.

    As ROWE spoke to earlier... once you keep "them" talking their truth thoughts come out and make it hard for them to maintain the nice, tolerant things they try to feign.

    You know, it's pretty easy for a knowledgeable observer to see how much of Arab Culture is mistaken for or made synonomous to Islam... But one thing that should be noted is how much Western Culture is confused with Christianity.

    I say that to say this: A lot of the arrogance including the ideas of exclusivity and exceptionalism we've discussed here are features of Western Culture... And here we have Black people mimicking White/Western Thought while trying to pretend as if they are Black and conscious.

    I'm like, how can you not see the unmistakeable White/Western imprint when it comes to those questionable ideas??

    Now, doesn't the idea of a Chosen People sound a lot like Manifest Destiny? Which feeds ever so nicely into a rationale and justification for Racism/White Supremacy?
    quote:
    Originally posted by Nmaginate:
    quote:
    Since when was 'getting along' X-tianity's or X-tians motive?
    Well, it's a rhetorical question and one meant to expose the motives or true nature of those Christian beliefs/practices.

    As ROWE spoke to earlier... once you keep "them" talking their truth thoughts come out and make it hard for them to maintain the nice, tolerant things they try to feign.

    You know, it's pretty easy for a knowledgeable observer to see how much of Arab Culture is mistaken for or made synonomous to Islam... But one thing that should be noted is how much Western Culture is confused with Christianity.

    I say that to say this: A lot of the arrogance including the ideas of exclusivity and exceptionalism we've discussed here are features of Western Culture... And here we have Black people mimicking White/Western Thought while trying to pretend as if they are Black and conscious.

    I'm like, how can you not see the unmistakeable White/Western imprint when it comes to those questionable ideas??

    Now, doesn't the idea of a Chosen People sound a lot like Manifest Destiny? Which feeds ever so nicely into a rationale and justification for Racism/White Supremacy?


    I agree,

    (BTW I knew it was rhetorical just wanted to hilight it for this thread.)

    But I would add that The Bible itself and Judeo-X-tianity in general has been so infused with Western/Indo-European cultural thought since it's 'origins'(a.k.a plagerization and perversion from older African and Eastern texts (IMO Islam too) that they are now one and the same. Never to be seperated.

    Genesis even sports it...

    D.T. Suzuki(a Taoist) once observed about western religion, "God against man. Man against God. Man against nature. Nature against man. Nature against God. God against nature. Very funny religion!"
    quote:
    Originally posted by Rowe:
    quote:
    Originally posted by Empty Purnata:
    I can actually empathize with most of what Rowe is saying. I myself used to be a Born-Again Christian and I experienced all of the torture and brainwash that he did.


    I'm a woman Sister Empty Purnata.


    Oops, sorry about that. Frown
    Christianity is not X "against" Y. It is X "separate from" Y, but that's no more funny than any other reality. That someone would think it to be "against" instead of "separate from" shows a basic misunderstanding of it.

    When God created the earth, he created it separate from himself, but it was "tov," which means both "good" and "beautiful." It was not something to be "against." Nor is it now. The reason that we seem to be "against" nature is because of sin, which pits us against all that God has made and against all that he still does.

    The "against" part is our fault, and it's part of what God gives us the Bible to cure. This is the clear teaching of the Bible. I also think that another thread, about Christian environmentalism, is well thought-of, for I think that that is a logical result of Christian theology. Adam and Eve ("Man and woman") were placed in God's garden to "keep" it, to work in it and to care for it. That's our created state. Anything else is as we see it in the Bible, the result of sin. We didn't start exploiting the earth and seeing it as a reservoir of raw materials to use for our own wants, until Cain and his city in the Land of Wandering.

    That's not what we were created for, and it's not what we are suppposed to settle for once we become Christians. We are to care for the whole earth and for each other, not be "against" anything or anyone.

    Please don't accept as gospel the word of someone who does not know the entire story.
    Personally, I wish to see a rise in numbers and popularity for Progressive Christians, Liberal Christians, mystic Christians and Process Theology.

    I think this "bible-believing" (IMHO, Bible-worshipping), Born-Again and Fundamentalist revolution is killing Christianity. Christianity is declining in the West, and it is precisely because Christianity is being taken over by old world, hardliners who want to prevent the faith from progressing out of Dark Age theology. That's why Fundamentalism is thriving in undereducated areas of the world (the American South and Midwest, parts of Africa and South America, poor parts of China) while it is dying in more educated areas of the world (Europe, Australia, East and West Coast of America).

    For the past 200 years, since the rise of Modern Science, Christianity has had a wave of hardline, retrogressive revolutions to resist against modern knowledge claiming it's the "world's knowledge". I would like to see a progressive revolution in bible scholarship and modern theology. Christianity is LONG overdue for that.


    Personally, I think Christianity is now in the stage that Hinduism was in before the advent of the Buddha. It was stale, stagnant, dogmatic and ritualized. Just like old world Hinduism, Christianity needs a modern-day sage to come along and give it a breath of fresh air and give it a kick in the pants to make it question its stagnancy and domga.
    quote:
    Originally posted by Empty Purnata:
    I think this "bible-believing" (IMHO, Bible-worshipping), Born-Again and Fundamentalist revolution is killing Christianity.


    I think it's killing black folks. In the sense that so many people are wrapped up in this regressive/backward religion that it's isolating and weakening the more progressive members of the group (I speak from experience being a black University faculty member in the sciences in a Bible Belt state).

    Has anyone else found this to be the case????

    Anyway, there is nothing lonelier. Which is why I find this site so REFRESHING.

    quote:

    Christianity is declining in the West....That's why Fundamentalism is thriving in undereducated areas of the world (the American South and Midwest, parts of Africa and South America, poor parts of China) while it is dying in more educated areas of the world (Europe, Australia, East and West Coast of America).


    I find it interesting that many of the American "Founding Fathers" (like Thomas Jefferson) were Deists and really considered "Bible believing" Christianity beneath them but didn't hesitate to teach it to their slaves. This religion has always been associated with the bottom rung of American society.

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